TAKE a stroll down Langholm High Street and pause for some poetry.
Creative group OutPost Arts has commissioned a series of murals as part of a project to make a statement about the town and encourage people to think about the environment in which they live.
Agnes Jones, a blacksmith, along with Lucy MacLeod, creative director of OutPost Arts, spent a day, with help from Duncan Elliott of the Xcel Project installing this beautiful work of art, depicting a line from Hugh MacDiarmid’s poem.
A MURAL, inspired by the work of Langholm poet Hugh MacDiarmid, has been put up on a wall close to the High Street.
The E&L Advertiser mural was the product of creative sessions with Langholm primary school pupils who worked with artist Agnes Jones to create inspiring source images using a variety of materials.
The P2 to P4 group used giant pipe-cleaners to create 3D pictures which communicated the town’s natural environment.
They composed their wire sculptured on large panels and created painted ‘backdrops’.
The workshop was the inspiration for the final design which depicts a line from MacDiarmid’s poem The Little White Rose, selected to highlight his roots in Langholm.
This mural is one of several being created as part of the Mural Stories project which is funded by the BGS Cayzer Charitable Trust, Stoneypath Trust and Walter Higgs Charitable Trust.
Its objective is to enhance the appearance of the environment, creating landmarks. The themes focus on Langholm’s history and heritage which reinforces community identity and helps focus the town’s tourism offer, creating distinctiveness or ‘place-making’.
Lucy MacLeod, creative director of OutPost Arts, said: “We hope that, as the project progresses, it will attract more media attention, increasing the town’s visibility and boosting its economy.
“The viewer’s experience of public art, like a mural, is hugely important when measuring impact.
“Murals naturally encourage you to slow down, admire your surroundings and take time to notice your environment.
“They create important conversation starters, expand thought and can draw attention to important issues, leading to a greater awareness generally.”OutPost commissioned four artists to creatively consult with residents and create five murals.
Father and daughter Paul and Lydia Leith, who had support from Sophie Jarzyna, created The Look Out mural.
Lydia and Sophie worked with P5 to P7 who focused on creating collages using a wide variety of source images of Langholm, its culture and heritage.
The large-scale mural depicts the group’s focal points, including the iconic monument, mills, pipe band and Common Riding.
Blossom Mccuaig is creating a painted mural which will be displayed at Lairds Entry.
Blossom is an emerging artist based in Dumfries. Focusing on developing her draughtsmanship skills, Blossom is working on creating traditionally rendered paintings and drawings with a modern twist.
Lucy is creating two High St murals, one of which will be painted live as part of the Mural Stories launch on Saturday and Sunday, November 2 and 3.
Lucy is the co-ordinator of the Mural Stories project. She is an established illustrator and passionate about creating engaging and striking visuals with relatable, human content.
Lucy worked with Langholm Academy S2 and Blossom worked with local historians.
OutPost has also designed a ‘mural map’ which features the locations and background information about each mural alongside key areas of historic interest.
The map will be available to buy from The Look Out and is the first stage of creating a history and art trail in Langholm, something which will attract visitors.
The map will be launched at the Mural Stories launch on November 2.
The launch event will feature an exhibition of photography, film and original research art work, describing the progress of the Mural Stories project and there will be drop-in creative workshops.